Analysis: How Daytime Broadcast Stacks Up Against Daytime Syndication in the TV Ratings

From "Family Feud" to "The Wendy Williams Show" and more, how does daytime broadcast compare to their syndicated counterparts?
Lawrence Saint-Victor, Rena Sofer, John McCook, The Bold and the Beautiful, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Judge Judy
Howard Wise/JPI Studios; Ron Jaffe/CBS | Lawrence Saint-Victor, Rena Sofer, John McCook ("The Bold and the Beautiful"), Judge Judy Sheindlin ("Judge Judy")

In the world of daytime broadcast, how a show performs in the Women 25-54 and Women 18-49 ratings determines the show’s success or failure. Why? Those demographics set advertising rates each season. The higher a show ranks the more money the network gets to charge for a 30-second commercial spot. In daytime syndication, however, households and Women 25-54 ratings are generally what advertisers are looking for. As such, we decided to see how the daytime broadcast programs stack up when compared to their syndicated counterparts. The only hiccup? Unfortunately, only household figures are regularly available for syndicated series with the exception of a few shows whose Women 25-54 rating is publicly accessible. Therefore, to best compare the two we’ll be using household ratings only.

For the week of July 5-9, 2021, the most recent week in which syndicated ratings are available, it’s easy to see that daytime broadcast may not have the high household numbers of such programs as “Family Feud” (Syndicated), “Judge Judy” (Syndicated) or “Jeopardy” (Syndicated), but none of them have the low numbers like what is seen with “The Drew Barrymore Show” (Syndicated), “Protection Court” (Syndicated) or “The Doctors” (Syndicated), either. In fact, most of the 11 daytime broadcast programs Soap Opera Network reports household ratings for each week placed in the top 20 among the 44 shows we observed. Syndication figures are courtesy of TV News Check and the Nielsen Top 10.

The top daytime shows for the week were “Family Feud” (Syndicated) with a 5.6 household rating followed by the venerable “Judge Judy” (Syndicated) in second place with a 5.0 — the court show aired its series finale after 25 seasons on the air on Friday, July 23. In third place was “Jeopardy” (Syndicated) with a 4.7 household rating, and in fourth place was “Wheel of Fortune” with a 4.5 household rating. 

Performing the highest among daytime broadcast were repeats of both half hours of “The Price is Right” (CBS). The second half-hour placed fifth among all daytime shows with a 2.8 household rating while the first half-hour placed sixth with a 2.5. In seventh place was “The Young and the Restless” (CBS) with a 2.3 household rating followed by “Inside Edition” which ranked eighth with a 2.2 household rating. “The Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS) tied for ninth place with “Entertainment Tonight” (Syndicated) as both shows received a 2.0 household rating.

Repeats of “Let’s Make a Deal” (CBS) took up the 11th and 13th place positions with a 1.8 and a 1.6 household rating for its second half-hour and its first half-hour, respectively. Sandwiched in between was “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (Syndicated), daytime’s number one talk show for the week, which ranked 12th with a 1.7 household rating. Dr. Phil” (Syndicated) ranked 14th with a 1.5 household rating.

Tied for 15th place with a 1.4 household rating each was “General Hospital” (ABC) and “Hot Bench” (Syndicated). “Days of our Lives” (NBC) and repeats of “The View” (ABC) tied for 17th place, each with a 1.1 household rating. Closing out the top 20 in a two-way tie for 19th place with a 1.0 household rating each was “GMA3: What You Need to Know” (ABC) and “The Wendy Williams Show” (Syndicated). “The Talk” (CBS) tied for 21st place alongside “Maury” (Syndicated), each with a 0.9 household rating. 

Once considered a top tier daytime talk show, and the heir apparent to “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (Syndicated) is crawling its way into its final 19th season, duking it out in a five-way tie for 23rd place with a 0.8 household rating along with “25 Words or Less” (Syndicated), “The People’s Court” (Syndicated), “The Kelly Clarkson Show” (Syndicated) and “TMZ” (Syndicated).

What follows is a complete breakdown of how daytime broadcast and daytime syndication performed in households during the week of July 5-9, 2021, per Nielsen Media Research ratings data. Off-net series are excluded. Syndication figures are courtesy of TV News Check and the Nielsen Top 10.

Week of July 5-9, 2021 Rankers

wdt_ID Rank Show Network / Distribution Household Rating
1 1 Family Feud Syndicated 5.6
2 2 Judge Judy Syndicated 5.0
3 3 Jeopardy Syndicated 4.7
4 4 Wheel of Fortune Syndicated 4.5
5 5 The Price is Right 2 - R CBS 2.8
6 6 The Price is Right 1 - R CBS 2.5
7 7 The Young and the Restless CBS 2.3
8 8 Inside Edition Syndicated 2.2
9 9 Entertainment Tonight Syndicated 2.0
10 9 The Bold and the Beautiful CBS 2.0

Note: A number of broadcast and syndicated programs aired either originals, reruns, or a mix of new and original content during the week analyzed. Figures are calculated using Live+Same Day viewing and DVR playback, defined as 3:00 a.m.-3:00 a.m. Household ratings are the percentage of TV homes in the U.S. tuned into television.